ATLANTA, Ga - The International Children's Advisory Network, Inc. (iCAN) has unveiled a fun kid focused line-up of events for the calendar year of 2021. "Ask the Experts", hosted by Dr. Anthony Chang, MD, is a fun and free monthly series of hour-long sessions designed to help youth members engage in a robust discussion focused on innovation, science, research, and career options within healthcare.
Along with Dr. Chang, three special guest experts have already joined in and will be appearing throughout the year. Paula Garcia Todd, Dr. Jessica Taaffe, and Dr. Arlyne Simon. To learn a bit more about their careers and interests, please read below.
For over 15 years, Paula Garcia Todd has helped people through pharmaceuticals. Her vast experience ranges from working in manufacturing, to creating patented polymer innovations in labs, to solving formulation issues for global pharmaceutical companies, to now building the global strategy to drive growth in her business at DuPont. Paula is passionate about introducing STEM to young children. She has volunteered on boards and organizations focused on increasing the number of female and under-represented students in STEM fields, especially engineering, for the past decade. She was named a AAAS IF/THEN® Ambassador through the American Association for the Advancement of Science for her devoted work in STEM outreach and will be featured in a life-sized statue exhibit of outstanding women in STEM fields. In 2020, she was named Woman of the Year in Engineering by Women in Technology and a Community Trailblazer award winner by Million Women Mentors. Paula holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University. She and her husband, Doug, have 3 children and live in Georgia. For more info, check out: www.paulagarciatodd.com.
Dr. Jessica Taaffe is on a mission to advance global health through science. A PhD microbiologist, she works with researchers and policymakers to interpret, communicate, and apply scientific evidence to global health programs. Dr. Taaffe has worked at the NIH, researching malaria in monkeys; as a World Bank consultant, providing evidence on how to improve HIV programs to global policymakers; and she has written high-level HIV reports for the United Nations. Jessica is passionate about strengthening the scientific community’s voice on public platforms. She shares her knowledge through social media and has been featured in popular podcasts. She was a science expert and host of the YouTube show This Week in Global Health. Her opinion pieces have been published in leading science and health media outlets such as PLoS Blogs and Global Health Now. Jessica lives in Washington, DC with her husband, White German Shepherd, and two cats. She sings with the St. Matthew’s Cathedral Schola, often rocks a bold red lip, and owns a lot of hats. For more info, check out: www.jessicataaffe.com
Patented inventor, Dr. Arlyne Simon, is a biomedical engineer and author of a children’s book series called Abby Invents. Recognized as a trailblazing female innovator by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Arlyne invented a blood test that detects when cancer patients reject bone marrow transplants. Her passion for healthcare has led her to design syringes, train clinical lab technologists in Kenya, help build supercomputers and now design medical imaging equipment. As an author, Arlyne crafts stories about a girl inventor who creates things that do not exist – like unbreakable crayons and more! Eager to inspire more girls to become inventors, Arlyne founded a multicultural children’s products company named Timouns. To date, Timouns has reached more than 3,500 future inventors. A native of Dominica, Arlyne now resides in Portland, Oregon. She holds a Ph.D. in macromolecular science and engineering from the University of Michigan and an undergraduate degree in chemical & biomolecular engineering from Georgia Tech. For more info, check out: www.arlynesimon.com.
To participate, all attendees must register in advance at www.icanresearch.org/events. For February, iCAN and Dr. Chang will focus on the youth-member requested topic of "Ethics" and learn more about what that means for patients, clinicians, and industry partners. In March, the "Ask the Experts" session will highlight "Understanding Clinical Research" and discuss the process of research from protocol to completion.
For the April event, "Beyond a Drug: What is in that Pill?", interactive polymer science kits will be mailed free of charge to all youth participants that are registered by March 1st, 2021. For this session, we will focus on how drug formulations are developed and how pills are manufactured. Participating youth members will make a polymer together during the session – then discuss the applications of polymers in drug formulations. To be eligible for this offer, full registration for "Beyond a Drug: What is in that Pill?" is required including name, age, email, and home shipping address no later than 3/1/2021. If registered after the deadline of March 1st, participants can still join the session as attendees but will not receive the polymer science kit.
For any questions on how to register, or more information on participating, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to sponsor or participate as a speaker for our fun series of Ask the Experts, please contact us directly at email@example.com.